There will be no same-sex marriage in the state of Maine.
For the opponents, this represents a victory, but for champions of equal rightsand the fight for equality, it is a bitter defeat. While processingthe defeat of equal marriage legislation in Maine, it made me think about the recent story of an interracialcouple in Louisiana who we’re denied a marriage license. I’d be lying if I saidI was totally surprised by this occurrence.
The denial of a marriage license by a Louisiana judge to an interracialcouple wasn’t as surprising or shocking to me as it was to others. Seeing andhearing about a couple being denied a marriage license is a common factor ofthe gay experience in this country. One of the supporters of a ban on gaymarriage in Maine said something that made me think about the couple inLouisiana.
Ellen Sanford McDaniel, 35, of Fairfield, Maine, said she’s relievedthe referendum rejecting gay marriage passed… “I
don’t feel anybody hasthe right to redefine marriage,” she said. “I would have beenheartbroken for our country if it did not pass…We had a prayer night lastnight for it to go the way it should.”
Maybe Ellen doesn’t know herhistory or maybe she doesn’t care, but marriage has continually been redefinedin this country. Once upon a time, in a not so distant past, the law did not recognize the marriages of blacks to whites. Then, thanks to the litigationand decision of Loving vs. Virginia,which ended all race-based legal restrictions on marriage in the United States,the idea of marriage was redefined.
I imagine there were lots of people likeEllen who were heartbroken and angry their prayers weren’t answered when thedecision came down. Marriage has been redefined often in our nation’s historyand most would agree for the better.
As a black man with many interracialfriends, I am disappointed that an interracial couple was denied the right tomarry, but as a gay man I can’t muster much outrage. It’s absurd to deny acouple the rights to marry based on some subjective requirement determined by abigoted majority, and it only proves how absurd the bans on gay marriage trulyare.
It’s interesting that the same people who took to the Internet, blogs, andFacebook statuses to declare their outrage over the discrimination aninterracialcouple faced, won’t think twice about the passing of a ban on gay marriage inMaine.